Memorial Day by Wayne Greenough
Series: The Private Detective Murders (# 4)
Release Date: January 1, 2013
Publisher: Devine Destinies
Pages / File Size: 46pp (est)
Source: book provided by the publisher for review
All graveyards are sad. Mother and I visit three of them to pay our respect to those who have gone on. But this graveyard is different. I keep hearing a male voice. No matter where I look I can’t see him. I’m cold sober. I haven’t had a drink since last night. There’s the voice again. Who is it? Why can’t I see the guy?
Review: Memorial Day is book four in the Private Detective Murders. Private Detective Thanet Blake, a hard-drinker who describes himself as ‘hardboiled’, is visiting three separate cemeteries on Memorial Day with his mother, who calls him ‘Sonny’ and tends to be a matchmaker.
Reminiscent of Thornton Wilder’s ‘Our Town’ and Edgar Lee Master’s ‘Spoon River Anthology’, the lives of the long-dead are revealed: 15-year-old twins who lied about their ages and died at Pearl Harbor, a World War II nurse killed at Corregidor, and veterans of Korea and Viet Nam.
Along the way, we meet Thanet’s friend Rumpott, who has a harem of ladies for whom he finds appropriate help, including social services in the person of Selena, who is interested in Thanet, who is still grieving his wife Dru. Another friend, Godfather, is burying his brother as Thanet happens by.
At one point, Thanet happens on a military funeral in progress. Afterwards, he is accosted by the spirit/ghost of the young soldier who died in Afghanistan and who makes a startling request for help.
The historical aspects of the book are well-researched, and the premise has endless possibilities. The telling of the story moves without reason from present tense to past tense approximately in the middle of the story, which is somewhat disconcerting. When the action moves out of the cemetery, the plot line is not as tight as it might be. Though part of a series, the book can stand alone due to the back story details being filled in.
Favorite Quote: “The only case he can finish with any success is a case of alcohol!”